Philanthropic professionals have a responsibility to be a strong steward of the resources with which they are entrusted, and to get the right elements in place for a measurable impact. They must also define a strategic results framework with clear outcomes to help the funders tell the larger results story from efforts and dollars throughout.
To support this goal of the global philanthropic community, MicroEdge + Blackbaud has released a tool for organizations across the giving sector called the Outcomes Maturity Model. Created in partnership with The Rensselaerville Institute, this model is an online assessment tool that looks at a giving organization’s outcomes measurement readiness in seven key categories and tells them where they place on the spectrum of how mature their measurement efforts are, and how to get their organization to the next level of maturity.
Tracking, reporting and measuring outcomes has become increasingly important for foundations, non-profits, corporations and even individual change agents, in sharing the impact of their work, drawing people to their missions and inspiring further action.
The Outcomes Maturity Model was developed as a response to the transformational shift in the giving sector from traditional philanthropy to results-focused giving dedicated to achieving greater impact. This shift has accelerated interest in tracking and measuring outcomes and impact.
MicroEdge + Blackbaud has found that in speaking with its customers and other practitioners in the giving sector, organizations are at different points along the journey toward outcomes and impact measurement. Some are at the very beginning of the journey, unsure of how to get started; while others are at a midway point where they need to perhaps convince others in their organization to make this important shift, or are at the point where they need technology to help them to track and measure outcomes and impact. Yet others may be quite far along in the journey and may just need to fine-tune their measurement programs.
This model will assist organizations in identifying where they are in this journey as well as the appropriate steps for moving forward. Funders can position themselves to achieve impact with their nonprofit partners by investing in outcomes from the beginning, monitoring and tracking grantee progress during the grant period, and assessing performance at the end. All these combine to create an environment of investing in organizations that achieve their intended results.
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